Transparency: Only six GLs in Nigeria have active websites – CFTIW assesses MDAs, States

The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CFTIW) found that only six Local Government Councils (LGCs) in Nigeria have functioning websites.

This revelation is contained in its 2021 Transparency and Integrity Index of federal ministries, departments and agencies as well as states across the country.

All of the 448 federal MDAs assessed scored below 50 percent, with 19 MDA – including educational institutions – scoring zero.

The federal government’s housing finance agency, Family Home Funds, scored 34.92 percent, the best for a parastatal.

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) ranks second with 33.37 percent; The Petroleum Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) scored 32.27 for third place.

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is fourth – 30.60%; The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) is fifth – 29.74%; The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is sixth – 29.48 percent.

The National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) ranks seventh with 29.09%; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is eighth with 28.95 percent.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) ranks ninth with 28.37 percent, and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is tenth with 27.70 percent.

States and local governments performed better in their assessment. Kaduna State got 76.67%, followed by Ekiti and Kwara States with 73.33% and 65.00%.

On the other hand, the states of Zamfara and Sokoto jointly occupied the last position with 16.67 percent.

The methodology of federal MDAs was slightly different from that of states and LGs. A total of 31 sub-variables and 12 sub-variables were used respectively.

CFTIW executive director Umar Yakubu said the ranking aims to assess and monitor public institutions’ compliance with laws that require them to disclose their transactions.

Yakubu revealed that the survey aimed to cover all 774 LGCs in Nigeria, but only six have functional websites.

The report, which covered the activities of institutions and states between 2016 and 2020, assessed accessibility to governance, budget and audit reports, procurement, citizen engagement and human resources.

CFTIW President Angela Nworgu expressed hope that it would be adopted by the United Nations (UN), countries and international organizations, as the latest index of transparency for institutions and governments.

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu congratulated CFTIW and the MacArthur Foundation for producing the report.

Ribadu praised the Olusegun Obasanjo administration for opening up the government, insisting that the authorities should not perform their duties in secret.

“I was in the public sector when most of the things that were popular started now. When we see things like these happening, we have reason to be happy. I thank God.

“In 2005-2006, President Obasanjo asked me: Nuhu, what do you think we should do? What should we give priority to in the fight against corruption, to do things well in our country?

“I said sir, let’s open the government. Open, nothing to hide. Transparency and accountability that will promote integrity, so that we can use our resources.

“It was the period when we opened Nigeria. When you talk about the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, I remember how it happened – NEITI, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Bureau of Public Procurement.

“God bless Obasanjo, he has done a great job for Nigeria. What I’m trying to make is that the public sector has done its part. I am happy to see the private sector doing its own work.

“I have worked with people like Umar. Some of them have withdrawn, they think their role in CSOs is more important than that of the public sector. No one can play a bigger role than the private sector in opening up government.

“Whenever I see MacArthur, I always thank them for the role they play in this country. They come out to spend money to help people who are facing challenges,” said Ribadu.

Speaking on the report, lawmaker Saidu Abdullahi said that with transparency and accountability in MDAs, Nigeria has no reason to borrow to finance budgets.

“Our problem is not the lack of laws, our problem is to comply with the laws we have. For a budget of N15 trillion, I don’t think Nigeria has any interest in borrowing.

“If we manage our resources well, if we put our MDAs on the right pedestal and hold them to account, we will see that they have the capacity to finance the budget.

Ladidi Mohammed from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation is convinced that the report will be useful when drafting the update of the national anti-corruption strategy (NASC).

“The lifespan of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy has just expired. We will deploy the second policy. We will review this index and choose items that can be included in the implementation framework. “

The full CFTIW 2021 Transparency and Integrity Index report is available on the organization’s website.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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